Felony Cases

General Anatomy of a Felony Case in District Court

  1. Police investigation by relevant law enforcement agency
  2. Report filed with County Attorney's Office
  3. Review for sufficiency of evidence and charging decision
  4. Felony charge is filed in District Court
  5. Defendant is served with complaint by way of arrest warrant or summons
  6. First Appearance
    • Reading of charge and range of possible penalties
    • Legal representation
    • Next appearance date
    • Bond
  7. Preliminary Hearing
    • The State must prove that it appears a felony crime was committed
    • The State must prove that there is probable cause to believe that the defendant committed that felony crime
    • If the State meets its burden then the defendant is bound over for arraignment and trial in the District Court
  8. Arraignment
    • Guilty - Move to sentencing
    • Not Guilty - Set for trial
    • No Contest - Move to sentencing
  9. Trial
    • To a jury of twelve
    • To a judge
    • State bears burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt
    • Defendant may remain silent or present evidence
    • Verdict
      • Guilty
      • Not Guilty
  10. If verdict is "Guilty" then a presentence investigation and report is ordered
    • Conducted by Court Services
    • Consults the Victim
    • Establishes defendant's criminal history
  11. Sentencing pursuant to the Kansas Sentencing Guidelines